Monday, 23 May 2016

Accessing A Positive State Of Mind - The Golf Mind Set Series - Issue 4

A great performance in any sport involves a great deal of mind-body interaction. Golf possibly more than others. As a golfer, you know how your mood can affect your game. You are probably familiar with how challenging it can be to get yourself into the right frame of mind.

This is the forth blog in the Golf Mindset Series. To maximize your golf performance, you can also read Post 1, Post 2 and Post 3.

Getting yourself in to the right frame of mind, or state, is crucial to golfing success. If you believe you will perform badly, then you will. You know how sometimes you feel very confident, as though you could take on anyone and win. Other times you are dreading even starting the round. So what is it that causes these differences? And how can you always be in the good state?

A range of things can cause us to be in a good or bad frame of mind. Often it is external triggers, also called anchors. Common anchors related to golf are:

  • What the weather is like
  • Whether you got caught in traffic on the way to the course
  • Who you're playing with
  • What your work environment was like earlier in the day
All sorts of things affect our mind set and can change our state, putting us into a positive or negative state of mind. 

Anchors exist every day in our day to day lives, not just related to golf. For example, if you hear a song of the radio which reminds you of a good night out, and makes you laugh, the song is the anchor and the state is fun and laughter. Or, if you smell a perfume which reminds you of someone you used to know, and makes you feel nostalgic, the perfume is the anchor and the state is nostalgia. 

The good news is that we can use the phenomenon of anchoring to our advantage. You can create a trigger to instantly get you back into a good positive state of mind for playing golf. 

You do this as follows. Close your eyes and remember your best game. Really engage your imagination. Remember the best bits in clear detail. Use all of your senses to recall what you could see around you, how light it was, what you could hear and smell, how the club felt in your hand and the position of your body. When you are fully back in the memory create a trigger word and say it aloud to yourself. A trigger word could be something like, 'win,' 'play,' 'shot' or anything else which you feel works well for the situation. Repeat this process several times and you will firmly establish a link between the trigger word and the positive state. You can then use this trigger word whenever you want to feel confident about winning. 

Anchoring is a wonderful skill to learn and you can use this skill in many areas of your life.

Have you ever used anchoring? Do you have any other hints for improving your golf game. If so please do add them in the comments below.